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Sweet Caroline

Neil Diamond

from the album Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show released in 1969

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / videos / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Capo 2nd Fret, Standard Tuning

In order to play along with Neil Diamond's recorded version of this song, you'll need to add a capo to the 2nd fret (and use the chords shown above). Note that a capo is by no means required -- you can use these tabs to play the song without a capo, just note you won't be able to play along with Neil Diamond's album version.

Guitar Chords Used

Here's how you play the guitar chords used in this song. For the most part, you can get away with only using A, D, and E if you're not yet able to do barre chords.

e-|---0----2----0----2----2----4----
B-|---2----3----0----2----3----5----
G-|---2----2----1----2----4----6----
D-|---2----0----2----2----4----6----
A-|---0---------2----0----2----4----
E-|-------------0-------------------
      A    D    E    A6   Bm  C#m 

During the pre-chorus, I'll use these chords positions to do the buildup that comes before the chorus. These are by no means required, but add a bit of extra voicing to the buildup. The tab I show further below describes this approach in more detail.

e-|---2----5----4----7---
B-|---2----3----0----9---
G-|---2----2----1----7---
D-|---4----0----2----9---
A-|---0---------x----7---
E-|-------------0----0---
      A6   D    E    E7 

Intro Tab

Here's how you can approximate the horn intro to the album version of this song using an acoustic guitar. The main part of this is the riff, which is played mostly all on the A string. For added oomph, you'll want to also be picking/strumming the low E string along with the bass riff. This can be pretty tricky to do well -- so if you're having trouble with it, focus on the bassline by itself first, and only add the droning low-E string as your comfort level rises.

e-|---------------------------------------------------|-
B-|---------------------------------------------------|-
G-|---------------------------------------------------|-
D-|---------------------------------------------------|-
A-|---2--4--5-------2--4--5--4--2-------5--4--2-------|-
E-|--(0)-----------------(0)--------------------------|-

 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---5--7--9-------5--7--9--7--5-------9--7--5-------|-
 -|--(0)-----------------(0)--------------------------|-

 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------11----9-----||
 -|---9--11--12-------9--11--12-----11----------------||
 -|--(0)--------------------(0)-----------------------||

Building Up the Pre-Chorus

Here is how I like to play the pre-chorus buildup. This isn't required, and is certainly a bit more tricky than using the standard open chords, but adds some nice swell to transition into the chorus. What's great about this is how the note on high-E string goes up in tone with each chord. Here's the tabs for the chords I play, check out my video lesson for additional reference.

e-|----0--------2-----------------4---------------5---------------------7------
B-|----2--------2-----------------0---------------3---------------------9------
G-|----2--------2-----------------1---------------2---------------------7------
D-|----2--------4-----------------2---------------0---------------------9------
A-|----0--------0-----------------x-------------------------------------7------
E-|-------------------------------0-------------------------------------0------
       A        A6                E               D                     E7 
      "Hands... touching hands... reaching out... touching me, touching you..."

Rocking the Chorus Hook

Here is one way you can approximate the audience-favorite "oh, oh, oh..." part on an acoustic guitar. This is by no means required (in fact, you can skip the Bm7 and stay on D instead), but it is a nice way to capture the spirit of that heavy bass walkdown in a solo acoustic rendition. Listen along for reference, and check out my video lesson to see how this is done.

e-|---0---------2---------2-----2-----2--------
B-|---2---------3---------3-----2-----3--------
G-|---2---------2---------2-----2-----2--------
D-|---2---------0---------------------4--------
A-|---0----------------------------------------
E-|--------------------------------------------
      A         D 
     "Sweet Caroline...   oh,   oh,   oh..."

You can also play it like this, which involves playing triads higher up on the fretboard:

e-|---0---------2---------10----9-----2--------
B-|---2---------3---------10----10----3--------
G-|---2---------2---------11----9-----2--------
D-|---2---------0---------------------4--------
A-|---0----------------------------------------
E-|--------------------------------------------
      A         D 
     "Sweet Caroline...   oh,   oh,   oh..."

Bass Walk-Up from E to A

In the middle of the chorus, here is one way to transition up from the E to an A via a bassnote walk-up. This is done entirely on the 6th (low E) string. Nice and straightforward, listen along for reference.

e-|---2-----------------------------0-----------------------|---0----
B-|---3-----------------------------0-----------------------|---2----
G-|---2-----------------------------1-----------------------|---2----
D-|---4-----------------------------2-----------------------|---2----
A-|---------------------------------2-----------------------|---0----
E-|---------------------------------0----------0---2---4----|--------
      D                             E                           A 
     "...Good times never seemed so good..."

Or, you could do it on the higher strings like this.

e-|---2-----------------------------0-----------------------|---0----
B-|---3-----------------------------0------------------0----|---2----
G-|---2-----------------------------1----------1---2---1----|---2----
D-|---4-----------------------------2----------2---2--------|---2----
A-|---------------------------------2-----------------------|---0----
E-|---------------------------------0-----------------------|--------
      D                             E                           A 
     "...Good times never seemed so good..."

Bass Walk-Down from E to A

At the end of the verse progression, here is one way you transition down from the E to an A. Again, listen along for reference.

e-|---0-------------------------------0---------------------|---0----
B-|---2-------------------------------0---------------------|---2----
G-|---2-------------------------------1---------------------|---2----
D-|---2-------------------------------2--------2--0---------|---2----
A-|---0-------------------------------2-------------/4--2---|---0----
E-|-----------------------------------0---------------------|--------
      A                               E                         A 
     "...But then I know it's growing strong..."

Notes & Tabs

Capo 2nd Fret, Standard Tuning

In order to play along with Neil Diamond's recorded version of this song, you'll need to add a capo to the 2nd fret (and use the chords shown above). Note that a capo is by no means required -- you can use these tabs to play the song without a capo, just note you won't be able to play along with Neil Diamond's album version.

Guitar Chords Used

Here's how you play the guitar chords used in this song. For the most part, you can get away with only using A, D, and E if you're not yet able to do barre chords.

e-|---0----2----0----2----2----4----
B-|---2----3----0----2----3----5----
G-|---2----2----1----2----4----6----
D-|---2----0----2----2----4----6----
A-|---0---------2----0----2----4----
E-|-------------0-------------------
      A    D    E    A6   Bm  C#m 

During the pre-chorus, I'll use these chords positions to do the buildup that comes before the chorus. These are by no means required, but add a bit of extra voicing to the buildup. The tab I show further below describes this approach in more detail.

e-|---2----5----4----7---
B-|---2----3----0----9---
G-|---2----2----1----7---
D-|---4----0----2----9---
A-|---0---------x----7---
E-|-------------0----0---
      A6   D    E    E7 

Intro Tab

Here's how you can approximate the horn intro to the album version of this song using an acoustic guitar. The main part of this is the riff, which is played mostly all on the A string. For added oomph, you'll want to also be picking/strumming the low E string along with the bass riff. This can be pretty tricky to do well -- so if you're having trouble with it, focus on the bassline by itself first, and only add the droning low-E string as your comfort level rises.

e-|---------------------------------------------------|-
B-|---------------------------------------------------|-
G-|---------------------------------------------------|-
D-|---------------------------------------------------|-
A-|---2--4--5-------2--4--5--4--2-------5--4--2-------|-
E-|--(0)-----------------(0)--------------------------|-

 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---5--7--9-------5--7--9--7--5-------9--7--5-------|-
 -|--(0)-----------------(0)--------------------------|-

 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------------------||
 -|---------------------------------------11----9-----||
 -|---9--11--12-------9--11--12-----11----------------||
 -|--(0)--------------------(0)-----------------------||

Building Up the Pre-Chorus

Here is how I like to play the pre-chorus buildup. This isn't required, and is certainly a bit more tricky than using the standard open chords, but adds some nice swell to transition into the chorus. What's great about this is how the note on high-E string goes up in tone with each chord. Here's the tabs for the chords I play, check out my video lesson for additional reference.

e-|----0--------2-----------------4---------------5---------------------7------
B-|----2--------2-----------------0---------------3---------------------9------
G-|----2--------2-----------------1---------------2---------------------7------
D-|----2--------4-----------------2---------------0---------------------9------
A-|----0--------0-----------------x-------------------------------------7------
E-|-------------------------------0-------------------------------------0------
       A        A6                E               D                     E7 
      "Hands... touching hands... reaching out... touching me, touching you..."

Rocking the Chorus Hook

Here is one way you can approximate the audience-favorite "oh, oh, oh..." part on an acoustic guitar. This is by no means required (in fact, you can skip the Bm7 and stay on D instead), but it is a nice way to capture the spirit of that heavy bass walkdown in a solo acoustic rendition. Listen along for reference, and check out my video lesson to see how this is done.

e-|---0---------2---------2-----2-----2--------
B-|---2---------3---------3-----2-----3--------
G-|---2---------2---------2-----2-----2--------
D-|---2---------0---------------------4--------
A-|---0----------------------------------------
E-|--------------------------------------------
      A         D 
     "Sweet Caroline...   oh,   oh,   oh..."

You can also play it like this, which involves playing triads higher up on the fretboard:

e-|---0---------2---------10----9-----2--------
B-|---2---------3---------10----10----3--------
G-|---2---------2---------11----9-----2--------
D-|---2---------0---------------------4--------
A-|---0----------------------------------------
E-|--------------------------------------------
      A         D 
     "Sweet Caroline...   oh,   oh,   oh..."

Bass Walk-Up from E to A

In the middle of the chorus, here is one way to transition up from the E to an A via a bassnote walk-up. This is done entirely on the 6th (low E) string. Nice and straightforward, listen along for reference.

e-|---2-----------------------------0-----------------------|---0----
B-|---3-----------------------------0-----------------------|---2----
G-|---2-----------------------------1-----------------------|---2----
D-|---4-----------------------------2-----------------------|---2----
A-|---------------------------------2-----------------------|---0----
E-|---------------------------------0----------0---2---4----|--------
      D                             E                           A 
     "...Good times never seemed so good..."

Or, you could do it on the higher strings like this.

e-|---2-----------------------------0-----------------------|---0----
B-|---3-----------------------------0------------------0----|---2----
G-|---2-----------------------------1----------1---2---1----|---2----
D-|---4-----------------------------2----------2---2--------|---2----
A-|---------------------------------2-----------------------|---0----
E-|---------------------------------0-----------------------|--------
      D                             E                           A 
     "...Good times never seemed so good..."

Bass Walk-Down from E to A

At the end of the verse progression, here is one way you transition down from the E to an A. Again, listen along for reference.

e-|---0-------------------------------0---------------------|---0----
B-|---2-------------------------------0---------------------|---2----
G-|---2-------------------------------1---------------------|---2----
D-|---2-------------------------------2--------2--0---------|---2----
A-|---0-------------------------------2-------------/4--2---|---0----
E-|-----------------------------------0---------------------|--------
      A                               E                         A 
     "...But then I know it's growing strong..."

Videos

Songnotes Guitar Lesson

Here is a video I made showing how to play this song, using the chords and tabs shown on this page. If this is helpful, subscribe to the Songnotes YouTube channel for more tutorials and lessons like this.



Recommended Acoustic Cover

Here's a great solo acoustic cover of this song by Al Robitaille. Definitely check this one out to see how a solo acoustic guitar can rock this song out. He uses many/most of the bass walkups & walkdowns I show above. Note, he does not use a capo on the 2nd fret (which you need to play along with the Neil Diamond version).



Official Album Version

Here's an audio clip of the original album version of this song. Listen along for reference, and use a capo on the 2nd fret if you want to play along.



Acoustic Neil Diamond Version

If you want to see Neil Diamond playing this acoustically, check out this version. He does have a backing band behind him (which lets him get away without much guitar flourish), but it is still cool to see for reference.



Chord Progressions

Intro

| E . . . | E . . . | E . . . | E . . . | (with riff)

Verse

"Where it began, I can't begin to know it..."
| A . . . | A . . . | D . . . | D . . . |
| A . . . | A . . . | E . . . | E . . . |
                        (...played twice)

Pre-Chorus

"Hands, touching hands..."
| A . . . | A . . . | A6 . . . | A6 . . . |
| E . . . | E . . . | D  . . . | D  . . . |
| E . . . | E . . . |

Chorus

"Sweet Caroline..."
| A . . . | D . . . | D . . . | D . . . |
| E . . . | E . . . |
"I've been inclined..."
| A . . . | D   . .  . | D . . . | D . . . |
| E . D . | C#m . Bm . |

Song Info

Song: Sweet Caroline
Artist: Neil Diamond
Album: Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show
Year: 1969
Label: UNI

Tip Jar

Want to support Songnotes? If you would like to donate a dollar or few, that would make my day. I've spent over 1000+ hours building this site and transcribing these songs -- and happily make everything available freely. Visit my PayPal page if you'd like to toss something back my way.

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Thanks so much!

Video Lessons

Here are some of the video lessons I have made recently. I typically aim to create 3-4 lessons per month. Subscribe on YouTube to be sure you never miss a new lesson.



View my notes & tabs for City of Stars →

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View my notes & tabs for Lonesome Town →

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View my notes & tabs for True Colors →

View my notes & tabs for Hotel California →

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View my notes & tabs for Freeway Time in LA County Jail →

View my notes & tabs for Out on the Weekend →

View my notes & tabs for Say It Ain't So →

View my notes & tabs for You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go →

View my notes & tabs for Summer of '69 →

View my notes & tabs for Don't Let Me Down →

View my notes & tabs for How I Go →

View my notes & tabs for 7 Years →

View my notes & tabs for Kodachrome →

View my notes & tabs for Give My Love To Rose →

View my notes & tabs for Sweet Caroline →

View my notes & tabs for I Walk The Line →

View my notes & tabs for Redemption Song →

View my notes & tabs for Hallelujah →

Browse All Songs

Here's a list of the 173 songs I've added to the site since December 2012. Each song was added by me personally.

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About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.